Over the past couple of weeks, we have learned that from the waters of God, we can gain the spiritual strength of Samson to which we will be able to endure and overcome all of our trials and tribulations. We also saw in last week’s sermon that we should take refuge in our En Gedi often, and in this refuge, the living waters of God can cleanse us and, again, provide nourishment for us spiritually. My hope is that you are now aware of the living water of God and I hope that you have a strong desire to drink from God’s fountain. Do you desire to drink the living water from the fountain of God yet?
What Do You Desire
A few Sundays ago, I asked the question — What Do You Want From God? Most will still answer this question with a desire for something that is of this world. Collectively, we, mankind, have such a strong desire for this world. For many of us, this world is the jewel of our eyes – the crown jewel. Yet, I believe we limit ourselves by being so hung up on this world.
There are many who look out at the world and they consider themselves big dreamers for all they dream about accomplishing in this world. Not to knock anyone’s dreams but I believe we limit ourselves when we consider what we can gain and accomplish in this world as our crown jewel. This manner of thinking, in my opinion, is truly a disservice to our soul.
Solomon believed it to be vanity to solely treasure this world. He asked the question, “What profit has a man from all his labor In which he toils under the sun (Eccl. 1:3)?” He also said, “I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and indeed, all is vanity (valueless or meaningless) and grasping for the wind (Eccl. 1:14).” Many of us are laboring for a treasure that is decaying and is temporary.
Stop limiting yourself
My hope and prayer is that we will stop limiting ourselves by only treasuring this physical realm. Again, I say to you, we are more than this physical! Jesus asked the question, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul (Mark 8:36)?” Notice that Jesus was not concerned about the world, but was focused and concerned about the soul of man.
Let us remember, the soul of man is not of this world, this physical realm. Our soul is of God and the Lord is not of this realm! This realm was created by God and we were put in it by Him, but our stay here is only for a little while. So, while we are so hung up on this physical realm, it would do us a great deal of good to start focusing on what’s to come – which is of the spiritual. When we finally start to become concerned for what already takes place in the spiritual will take place in the spiritual then I believe our desire for water from the fountain of God will become stronger.
Example Set For Us Through Elisha
I want to take a look at a man in scripture that had a very strong desire for the spiritual. In 2 Kings 2, we read about the prophet Elijah being carried away into heaven by a whirlwind. Within this same passage of scripture, we see the strong spiritual desire of Elisha, the understudy of Elijah. I want to take a look at the example Elisha sets for us and focus on why our desire should be this strong.
Elisha refusal to stay behind
The very first verse of this chapter tells us that the time had come for Elijah to be taken up into heaven by the Lord. We see that there is a certain desire that Elisha has on three different occasions within this passage of scripture.
First occasion: when the Lord was sending Elijah to Bethel, Elijah told Elisha to stay in Gilgal (2 Kings 2:1-2). Second occasion: when the Lord was sending Elijah to Jericho after Bethel, Elijah told Elisha to stay in Bethel (2 Kings 2:4). Third occasion: after going to Jericho, Elijah was set to cross the Jordan, and again, he told Elisha to stay in Jericho (2 Kings 2:6). On all three occasions, Elisha had the same response to Elijah. He said, “As the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you!”
Some will read this and say, Elisha must have really loved Elijah and was afraid to let him go. This is certainly a reasonable thought to have, right? We would likely be the same way if we had foreknowledge of a loved one leaving this world. So, we need to answer this question – was Elisha’s refusal to stay behind because he was afraid to lose (let go of) Elijah?
When you read this chapter, Elisha does appear to come off as being a bit peeved at the thought of Elijah being taken away. On two of the occasions, the sons of the prophets of Bethel and Jericho ask Elisha if he was aware that Elijah was about to be taken away (2 Kings 2:3, 5). Elisha was very much aware of this and his response to them was an exclamatory, “Yes, I know; keep silent! So, some may view his response to mean he was upset that Elijah was being taken away from this world.
Elisha’s spiritual desire revealed
However, as you continue to read this passage of scripture, you will notice that Elisha was not upset nor was he necessarily concerned with Elijah being taken away. What becomes clear to us is that Elisha wanted to be present for when the Lord took Elijah away. He had a great desire for something but that desire is not immediately clear to us. This desire is only revealed to us in a response to a question that Elijah asks him after crossing the Jordan.
When the time had come, after Elijah made those two visits to Bethel and Jericho, he said to Elisha, “Ask! What may I do for you, before I am taken away from you (v.9)?” (To me, this suggests that Elijah had some idea that Elisha desired something.) Elisha responds, “Please let a double portion of your spirit be upon me.” So, let us note that Elisha was not trying to hold on to Elijah for dear life. Elisha had a very great desire and let us notice that his desire was not for something of this world! His desire is for a double portion of Elijah’s spirit – this is a spiritual desire!
Let me explain what this request from Elisha means. According to the Mosaic Law, this request from Elisha falls under the firstborn inheritance rights (Deut. 21:15-17). The firstborn son would inherit “a double portion” of all that his dad had. The reason being, according to the Mosaic Law, “for he is the beginning of his strength; the right of the firstborn is his.” This, we should note, would have been a focus on material possessions.
Elisha’s desire was not about the material (worldly), but was spiritual. So, with this knowledge, we see a desire for Elisha to essentially be acknowledged as the spiritual son of Elijah. Elisha also knew that he would have to carry on as a prophet without Elijah and so he sought the spiritual strength to be able to do so. Elijah was strong in his spirit and so Elisha wanted a double portion of the strength and drive of Elijah. To me, this is a testament to the desire and motivation that we ought to have as true believers in Christ. Do you desire a double portion from the Lord?
Desiring God’s Double Portion
I would certainly hope your answer to this question is yes. Yet, for some believers, their spiritual journey ends after being baptized. Some believe that there is nothing more that needs to be done after their confession of faith and being baptized. Yet, the spiritual journey is not over for us after our confession and baptism. You see, there is still a lot for us to do while we are in this world on our journey.
Let us remember, we were tasked by the Lord to share His gospel with all nations of people (Matt. 28:19). I don’t believe this is a task we can accomplish by sitting on our hands. As we saw Jesus say to the Samaritan woman in my sermon last week, those that drink from the fountain of God would, themselves, become a fountain of water springing forth everlasting life. We don’t spring forth anything when we choose to sit still in our proclaimed faith – genuine faith isn’t stagnant!
Praying for a double portion
The genuine believer is filled with the Holy Spirit but I believe the genuine believer should desire a double portion of the Lord’s goodness. Now, I want you to understand that I am not talking about material blessings when I say that. You see, a lot of times we get to thinking about a double portion from God, our mind thinks about material blessings but let us look beyond the material just like Elisha.
Our prayer should be for a double portion from the fountain of God so that we can carry our testimony in the Lord’s strength while also sharing His gospel in His strength. Our prayer should be for a double portion from those living waters of God so that we can be filled with double the strength of the spirit of Samson to be able to endure.
This may sound like a big ask but God is certainly willing to give out a double portion from His fountain! James proclaimed that the Lord gives liberally and without reproach (Jas. 1:5). You see, Elisha wanted and received a double portion of Elijah’s spirit and he put it to good use as he did even more than Elijah. We don’t talk about Elisha much but he was a very remarkable prophet.
Why we should pray for a double portion
I believe we should pray for a double portion of the Spirit for a few reasons. First: I consider how many of the saints that we grew up with are now older and starting to leave our world. Those saints were praying saints that would pray for the whole family and others. They were saints who were unashamed of their testimony and unashamed of their faith in the Lord. When I think of those saints, I think of the fountains that they were and how they provided to me nourishment.
We cannot let all of those who are around us now – loved ones and strangers alike – fall into the hands of the devil and drink from his fountains of dead water. We are of the age now where we should be stepping up in our faith in being prayer warriors and testifiers of God and His goodness with no shame!
The wilderness that is our world spiritually is becoming more and more desolate. Lost sinners are in search of spiritual nourishment in this world. The onus is on us as the saints of God to become a fountain that springs for waters of everlasting life. We should be providing nourishment to the lost sinner.
So, over these three sermons, I hope you see the reasoning as to why you should have a strong desire to drink the living waters from the fountain of God. Those living waters will sustain and strengthen us. Not only can they sustain and strengthen us but we can become a spiritual fountain as well to help those around us. So, let us seek that double portion from God’s fountain.